Posted Sep 6 2018, 8:42 am

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the water bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of his accomplishments, perfect for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you. I have been able only to leak out all the way back to your house. Because of my flaws, you have had to do all of this work and you don’t even get full value from your effort.”

The water bearer smiled and said to the pot, “Did you notice the beautiful flowers that covered the path only on your side? They are there only on your side, because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side…and every day while we walked back you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the tables of all the homes in the village. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the village.”

Moral: Each of us has our own unique flaws/weaknesses. To some degree we’re all cracked pots. But it’s the cracks and the flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You’ve just got to take each person for what they are, and look for the good in them. Remember to appreciate all the different people in your life.

So, when you are asked in your interview what you perceive your weakness/es to be, how should you answer this? Choose one or two weaknesses that are not part of the job requirements. Be sure to include an action point to show what you did about each weakness. For instance, “I was terrified of public speaking. I got so nervous I started to shake. So, I signed up for a public speaking class to help get over the jitters and I overcame that weakness.”

What will impress the interviewer is that you acknowledged your weakness/es and had the determination to overcome them. You are a person of strength. You don’t hide or run away from situations that are uncomfortable for you. You have the will to eliminate any obstacles that prevent you from achieving your potential.

Ken Rubin is the founder of Interviewing To Win. “I’ve always believed that people are far greater than any job they ever get to do.” Through my interview seminars and one on one role playing sessions, I will bring out the very best in my clients.

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